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Us 21, America 15, Hawaii 13, United States 11, Nra 10, Wayne Lapierre 9, Danny 9, Newtown 6, U.s. 6, Daniel Inouye 5, Connecticut 5, Dana 4, The National Rifle Association 4, Washington 3, Arkansas 3, Wayne 3, Clinton 3, United States Senate 2, Aloha 2, Wolf Blitzer 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    December 21, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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[car alarm blaring] call now and also ask about our 24/7 support and service. call... and lock in your rate for 12 months today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? top of the hour. don lemon here. ashleigh is off today. i want to welcome our viewers from around the world. one week after the slaughter at sandy hook, 90 minutes after the nation paused in silence on the victims, the national rifle association preparing right now to break its silence. live picture now from washington. that's where they're going to speak. wayne lapierre is going to speak, the head of the nra. we got a warning two minutes ago
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that it would be two minutes. we're waiting for him to show up. the nra is america's premiere gun rights lobby. it may be facing its biggest challenge in years as many americans shocked, they were shocked by newtown and they're calling for tougher restrictions on guns and ammunition, and while we wait for the group's executive director to appear, wayne lapierre, i want to bring in several of my colleagues now. first off, wolf blitzer is here, jessica yellin is at the white house, dana bash on capitol hill, and jeffrey toobin is in new york for us. as we wait, wolf, let's start with you. is this, in fact, a turning point for guns in america? do you think we'll hear anything like that in this press conference? >> i know a lot of attitudes have hardened as a result of what has happened over the past week in newtown, connecticut. you were there, i was there, and people all over the country and all over the world are outraged by the horrible nature of that massacre that occurred at the elementary school. >> here he is, wolf. sorry to cut you off. here he is. let's listen.
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>> good morning. i'm dave keene, president of the national rifle association of america, and i'd like to welcome you here this morning for the purposes of beginning our discussion of the topic that's been on the minds of american parents across this country, and that is what do we do about the tragedies of the sort that struck in newtown, connecticut, to avoid such events in the future. like most americans, we were shocked by what happened. like all americans, we've been discussing all of the various options that are available to protect our children, and at this point we would like to share our thinking with you, and for that purpose i would like to introduce wayne lapierre, our executive vice president. thank you again for being with us, and at the end of this conference, we will not be
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taking questions, but next week we will be available to any of you who are interested in talking about these or other issues of interest to you, so contact us, please, at that point. thank you very much. wayne? >> good morning. the national rifle association, 4 million mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief, and earnest prayer for the families of newtown, connecticut, who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as
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a rul of thesult of this unspea crime. out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the nra has refrained from comme comment. while some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent. now, we must speak for the safety of our nation's children because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody has addressed the most important, pressing, and immediate question we face. how do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a
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way that we know works? the only way to answer that question is to face the truth. politicians passed laws for gun-free school zones. they issue press releases bragging about them. they post signs advertising them. and in doing so they tell every insane killer in america that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. how have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? think about it. we care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed
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guards. american airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security. we care about our president, so we protect him with armed secret service agents. members of congress work in offices surrounded by capitol police officers. yet, when it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the american family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of
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the world know it and exploit it. that must change now. the truth is -- >> nra, stop killing our children! it's the nra and assault weapons that are killing our children! not armed teachers. arming will not end the violence. we have to stop the killing. stop the killing in our schools! stop the killing in our homes! stop the killing in our streets sm the nra is killing our children! you have to stop the violence! they are the perpetrators of the crimes taking place in our
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schools and on our streets! >> the truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters, people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. they walk among us every single day, and does anybody really believe that the next adam lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment? how many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame? from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a
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sense of identity that they crave while provoking others to try to make their mark. a dozen more killers? a hundred more? how can we possibly even guess how many given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill. the fact is this, that wouldn't even begin to address the much larger, more lethal criminal class, killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation. meanwhile, while that happens, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% to the lowest levels in a decade.
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so now due to a declined willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years. add another hurricane, terrorist attack, or some other natural or manmade disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimizati victimization. and here is another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal. there exists in this country, sadly, a callus, corrupt, and shoddow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. through vicious, violent video
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games with names like bullet storm, grand theft auto, mortal combat, and splatter house, and here is one. it's called kindergarten killers. it's been online for ten years. how come my research staff can find it and all of yours couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it? add another hurricane, add another natural disaster, i mean we have blood-soaked films out there like "american psycho," "natural born killers," that are aired like propaganda loop on
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splatter days and every single day. a thousand music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke, and they play murder -- portray murder as a way of life, and then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment. but is that what it really is? isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? in a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes every minute, every day, every hour of every single year.
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a child growing up in america today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. and throughout it all too many in the national media, their corporate owners, and their stockholders act as silent enablers, if not complicit c co-conspirators. rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize gun owners. >> the reckless behavior coming from the nra. the nra has blood on its hands. the nra has blood on its hands. take on the nra! ban assault weapons now! ban assault weapons now!
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nra, ban assault weapons now! >> what is your reaction to that? >> rather than face -- rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonizes lawful gun owners and fill the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away. the media calls semiautomatic firearms machine guns. they claim these civilian semiautomatic firearms are used by the military. they tell us that the 223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers when all of these
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claims are factually untrue. they don't know what they're talking about. worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceable, lawful people will protect us where 20,000 other laws have failed. as brave and heroic and as self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms and as prompt and professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable, through no fault of their own, unable to stop it. as parents we do everything we can to keep our children safe. it's now time for us to assume responsibility for our schools. the only way, the only way to
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stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from a minute away? now, i can imagine the headlines, the shocking headlines you will print tomorrow. more guns, you will claim, are the nra's answer to everything. your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society much less in our
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schools. but since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? a gun in the hands of a secret service agent protecting our president isn't a bad word. a gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the united states of america isn't a bad word. and when you hear your glass breaking at 3:00 a.m. and you call 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you. so why is the idea of a gun good when it's used to protect the president of our country or our police but bad when it's used to
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protect our children in our schools? the they're our kids, they're our responsibility, and it's not just our duty to protect them, it's our right to protect them. you know, five years ago after the virginia tech tragedy when i said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. but what if, what if when adam lanza started shooting his way into sandy hook elementary school last friday he'd been confronted by qualified armed security? will you at least admit it's possible that 26 little kids --
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that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day? is it so abhorrent to you that you'd rather continue to risk the alternative? the press and the political class here in washington, d.c., so consumed by fear and hatred of the nra and american gun owners that you're willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life, her life, to shield those children in her care? no one, no one, regardless of personal, political pledg, prej
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has the right to impose that sacrifice. ladies and gentlemen, there's no national one size fits all solution to protecting our children. but do know this president zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year's budget and scrapped secure our schools policing grants in next year's budget. with all the foreign aid the united states does, with all the money in the federal budget, can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school? even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability, and the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.
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now, the national rifle association knows there are millions of qualify ied active d retired police. active reserve and retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security professionals, rescue personnel, an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained, qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every single school. we could deploy them to protect our kids now. we can immediately make america's schools safer relying on the brave men and women in america's police forces. the budgets, and you all know this, everyone in the country knows this, of our local police departments are strained, and their resources are severely
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limited. but their dedication and courage is second to none, and they can be deployed right now. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in january. before congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation, or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in america immediately deploy a protection program proven to work and by that i mean armed security.
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right now today every school in the united states should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers, local authorities and draw upon every resource that's out there and available to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. every school is going to have a different solution based on its own unique situation. every school in america needs to immediately identify, dedicate, and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place though right now. and the national rifle association, as america's pre-eminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, we have 11,000 police training instructors in the nra. it's ready, willing, and uniquely qualified to help. our training programs are the most advanced in the world.
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that expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. we did it for our nation's defense industries and military installations during world war ii. we did it for very young kids with our eddie eagle child safety program that is throughout the country in schools right now. and we'll do it again today. the nra is going to bring all its knowledge, all its dead kath -- dedication and all its resources to develop a model national school shield emergency response program for every school that wants it. from armed security to building design and access control, to information technology, to student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best
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experts in the field. former congressman asa hutchinson will lead the effort as national director of the national model school shield program with a budget provided by the nra of whatever scope the task requires. his experience as a united states attorney, director of the drug enforcement agency, and under secretary of the department of homeland security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts that are available in the united states of america to get this program up and running from the first day forward. if we truly cherish our kids more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give
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them the greatest level of protection possible, and that security is only available with properly trained armed good guys. under asa's leadership, our team of security experts will make this program available for the world for protecting our children at school and will make that program available to every single school in america free of charge. that's a plan of action that can and will make a real positive, indisputable difference in the safety of our children, and it will start right now. there's going to be a lot of time for talk and debate later. this is a time, this is a day for decisive action. we can't wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. we can't lose precious time debating legislation that won't
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work. we must not allow politics for personal prejudice to divide us. we must act now for the sake of every child in america. i call on every parent, i call on every teacher, i call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country to join with us and help create a national school shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that's tested and proven to work. and now i'll tell you more about the program. i'd like to introduce the head of the effort, former u.s. congressman, former u.s. attorney for the western district of arkansas, and former administer of the u.s. drug
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enforcement agency, the honorable congressman asa hutchinson. asa? >> are you going to take questions? >> thank you, wayne. one of the first responsibilities i learned at homeland security was the importance of protecting our nation's critical infrastructure, and there's nothing more critical to our nation's well-being than our children's safety. they are this country's future and our most precious resource. we all understand that our children should be safe in school, but it is also essential that the parents understand and have confidence in that safety. as a result of the tragedy in newtown, connecticut, that confidence across this nation has been shattered.
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assurance of school safety must be restored with a sense of urgency. that is why i am grateful that the national rifle association has asked me to lead a team of security experts to assist our schools, parents, and our communities. i took this assignment on one condition, that my team of experts will be independent and will be guided solely by what are the best security solutions for the safety of our children while at school. even though we're just starting this process, i envision this initiative will have two key elements. first of all, it will be based on a model security plan, a comprehensive strategy for school security based upon the latest, most up to date technical information from the foremost experts in their fields. this model security plan will serve as a template, a set of
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best practices, principles, and guidelines that every school in america can tweak as needed and tailor to their own set of circumstances. every school and community is different, but this model security plan will allow every school to choose among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits their own unique circumstance, whether it's a large, urban school or a small, rural school like we have in arkansas or anything in between. armed, trained, qualified school security personnel will be one element of that plan, but by no means the only element. if a school decides for whatever reason that it doesn't want or need armed security personnel, that, of course, is a decision to be made by the parents and the local school board at the local level. the second point i want to make
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is that this will be a program that does not depend upon massive funding from local authorities or the federal government. instead, it will make use of local volunteers serving in their own communities. in my home state of arkansas my son was a volunteer with a local group called watch dog dads who volunteer their time at schools to patrol play grounds and provide a measure of added security. president clinton initiated a program called cops in school, but the federal response is not sufficient for today's task. whether they're retired police, retired military, or rescue personnel, i think there are people in every community in this country who would be happy to serve if only someone asked them and gave them the training and certifications to do so. the national rifle association is the natural, obvious choice to sponsor this program. their gun safety, marksmanship
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and hunter education programs have set the standard for well over a century. over the past 25 years, their eddie eagle gun safe program has taught over 26 million kids that real guns aren't toys, and today child gun accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded. school safety is a complex issue with no simple, single solution, but i believe trained, qualified, armed security is one key component among many that can provide the first line of difference as well as the last line of defense. again, i welcome the opportunity to serve this vital, potentially life-saving effort. thank you very much. >> asa, thank you. >> do either of you feel like any -- >> as i indicated at the outset, this is the beginning of a
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serious conversation. we won't be taking questions today, but andrew is here. we will be willing to talk to anybody beginning on monday. a text of the speech by wayne and asa hutchinson's remarks are available at nra.org. i want to thank all of you for being with us, and i look forward to talking to you and answering any of your questions next week. thank you very much. >> one question. one question, mr. keene. >> so there you have it. a lengthy statement from the national rifle association, the nra, making the case for armed police officers in every single school in the united states, elementary school, middle school, junior high, high school. wayne lapierre, the head of the national rifle association, saying there needs to be armed security this week after that
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horrible tragedy at the newtown elementary school. he comes forward with this proposal, police officers, protective plan, in his words, for every single school in the united states. then you heard assay hutchinson, the former republican congressman, former official of the department of homeland security, saying that they are getting ready to gear up to help schools all across the united states get armed guards in every single school. he didn't make a case for any significant gun control, as the president of the united states did the other day when he asked joe biden, the vice president, to come up with some ideas on how to strengthen the laws to deal with gun violence in the united states. you did hear wayne lapierre make the case that there should be greater restrictions on violent video games, maybe some better mental health issues, but he didn't say anything about high capacity ammunition clips, military assault-type weapons, or background checks. we have all of our reporters standing by to get some reaction to what the nra has just
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announced. jessica yellin is joining us from the white house, dana bash is on capitol hill, jeffrey toobin is with us also, tom foreman is over there, and don lemon is with us as well. jessica, let me go to the white house first. what do you think the white house is going to say about the nra's proposal there should be armed police officers in every single school to try to prevent what happened in newtown, connecticut, last friday morning? >> reporter: well, wolf, so far there is no response from the white house, but we can expect that this is not the kind of proposal that they are looking for from the nra. the white house has made it clear they are open to talking about a lot of ideas, but they are looking, first, for some gun control measures and some cooperation on that front and some other mental health measures. you waerd what wayne lapierre suggested was a database of all mentally ill people in the united states, and i can't see the president going for some
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sort of collection system of anybody who qualifies under who knows what definition for mental illness. back in -- i'd point out in 1989 there was a school shooting when the nra at that time said that they would work with members of congress to try to curb some gun laws and just take some of the more aggressive assault weapons off -- out of circulation. they ultimately did not come to terms, come to an agreement, but there was some effort to participate then. clearly there isn't now. and so it does not look like the nra will be partnering with the vice president in his effort. if i could add, wolf, he pointed out that the program is not funding safe schools programs. what's happened at the white house is they defunded programs that were not effective, but there is a $410 million for safe schools programs currently, and you know all budgets have been cut. also he said that violent crimes in the u.s. are up. fbi statistics show that violent
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crimes in the u.s. fell for the fifth consecutive year last year. we have more data on that, wolf. >> jessica, stand by. tom foreman is over at the nra news conference that just concluded. just a statement, a statement from wayne lapierre and then separate statement from asa hutchinson, no questions, no follow-up questions. there will be questions they point out starting next week. tom, remind our viewers, the national rifle association, it has 4 million members. this is a very powerful lobbying organization, not only here in the nation's capital but in state capitals all over the country. >> reporter: yes, wolf, and that actually may be a more important part of all of this. one of the things the nra has often done is they have often talked about the second amendment, the right to bear arms. that's one of their big cornerstones, but another one is the tenth amendment, which is state's rights essentially. they say in many cases these are local issues, and you do have to bear in mind no matter how much national sentiment there may be
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in the country about gun laws right now in reaction, a lot of that is driven by very, very strong reactions in largely democratic areas. state by state the reaction is somewhat different, and the nr sa. well aware of that. they put a lot of money and a lot of effort in governors races, legislative races, state initiatives and they have had a successful record for many years. they know this gives them a lot of power in the overall fight. you have to know part of the message was also to all those state organizations out there to say the nra is going to stand up and engage this fight. they have been what they would say polite and quiet for a while but now they are going to get right back in it as they have for a long time, wolf, and that state influence, all those republican governors out there and all those legislatures which republicans control can have a tremendous influence on this debate, wolf. >> tom, stand by for a moment. very, very busy here on this friday just before christmas.
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the nra, the headline out of this statement from the wayne lapierre, the executive director of the nra, the headline being that the nra wants there to be armed police officers in the every single school in the united states, and they say they and their members are willing to help make sure that there are armed police guards in every single school. we're going to continue our coverage of this. also, the president, he's getting ready to speak at the funeral services for the late senator from hawaii, daniel inouye. we will have coverage of that. later this afternoon the president will formally make the announcement of john kerry as his next secretary of state succeeding hillary clinton. we expect that announcement from the roosevelt room at the white house around 1:30 p.m. eastern. cnn, of course, will have live coverage of that as well. plus, the collapse -- near collapse i should say of the fiscal cliff negotiations. there are new developments on that front, as i say, as we watch this funeral service at the national cathedral for daniel inouye.
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tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 will help you get started today. we're covering this national rifle association news conference that just wrapped up here in the nation's capital. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the nra instead of proposing new tougher restrictions on guns in
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the united states, they said the best way to deal with this tragedy, what happened a week ago, the mass killing at an elementary school in newtown, connecticut, is to place armed police guards, armed police officers in every single school in the united states. that would deal with this crisis right now. dana bash is our senior congressional correspondent up on capitol hill. dana, you know as well as anyone, this is a fierce debate over guns in the united states, and this debate is only going to intensify after what we saw last week and now what the nra is coming forward with. what is the likely reaction up on the hill to what we heard from wayne lapierre? >> reporter: i'm already getting reaction, e-mailing with sources here specifically about the fact that he called for congress to act to fund this program that he's calling for to put armed police officers at schools. the initial reaction, first reaction i got, probably no surprise, were from democrats in the senate who run the senate saying it's very, very unlikely that something like this would
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have the votes to pass congress. that's probably an understatement when it comes to democrats. you know, but the question is what's going to happen on the house side, if the republicans on the house side -- i will give it back to you because we're hearing from the president. >> let me continue this conversation but the president is about to speak at the memorial service, the funeral service for the late senator from hawaii, daniel inouye, who passed away this week. >> this tuesday was in many ways a day like any other. the sun rose, the sun set, the great work of our democracy carried on, but in a fundamental sense it was different. it was the first day in many of our lives, certainly my own,
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that the halls of the united states congress were not graced by the presence of daniel ken inouye. danny was elected to the u.s. senate when i was 2 years old. he had been elected to congress a couple years before i was born. he would remain my senator until i left hawaii for college. even though my mother and grandparents took great pride that they had voted for him, i confess that i wasn't paying much attention to the united states senate at the age of 4 or 5 or 6. it wasn't until i was 11 years old that i recall even learning
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what a u.s. senator was or it registering at least. it was during my summer vacation with my family. my first trip to what those of us in hawaii call the mainland. so we flew over the ocean and with my mother and my grandmother and my sister, who at the time was 2, we traveled around the country. it was a big trip. we went to seattle and we went to disneyland which was most important. we traveled to kansas where my grandmother's family was from and went to chicago and went to yellowstone, and we took greyhound buses most of the time, and we rented cars, and we'd stay at local motels or howard johnsons, and if there
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was a pool at one of these motels, even if it was just tiny, i would be very excited, and the ice machine was exciting and the vending machine, i was really excited about that. but this is at a time when you didn't have 600 stations and 24 hours worth of cartoons, and so at night if the tv was on, it was what your parents decided to watch, and my mother that summer would turn on the tv every night during this vacation and watch the watergate hearings. and i can't say that i understood everything that was being discussed, but i knew the issues were important. i knew they spoke to some basic way about who we were and who we
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might be as americans. and so slowly during the course of this trip, which lasted about a month, some of this seeped in my head, and the person who fascinated me most was this man of japanese descent with one arm speaking in this courtly baritone full of dignity and gra grace, and maybe he captivated my attention because my mom explained that this was our senator and that he was upholding what our government was all about. maybe it was a boyhood fascination with the story of how he'd lost his arm in a war. but i think it was more than
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that. here i was a young boy with a white mom, a black father, raised in indonesia and hawaii, and i was beginning to sense how fitting in to the world might not be as simple as it might seem. and so to see this man, this senator, this powerful, accomplished person who was nn' out of central casting when it came to what you think a senator might look like at the time, and the way he commanded the respect of an entire nation. i think it hinted to me what might be possible in my own l e life. this was a man who as a teenager stepped up to serve his country even after his fellow
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japanese-naerns were declared enemy aliens. a man who believed in his country even when his government didn't necessarily believe in him. that meant something to me. it gave me a powerful sense, one that i couldn't put into words, a powerful sense of hope. and as i watched those hearings listening to danny ask all those piercing questions night after night, i learned something else. i learned how our democracy was supposed to work.work. our government of and by and for the people. we had a system government where nobody is above the law. we have an obligation to hold each other accountable from the average citizen to the most powerful of leaders because
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these things that we stand for, these ideals that we hold dear are bigger than any one person or party or politician and somehow nobody communicated that more effectively than danny inou inouye. you got a sense as joe mentioned, of just fundamental integrity that he was a proud democrat, but most importantly he was a proud american. and were it not for those two insights planted in my head at the age of 11 in between disneyland and a trip to yellowstone, i might never have considered a career in public
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servi service. i might not be standing here today. i think it's fair to say that danny inouye was perhaps my earliest political inspiration, and then for me to have the privilege of serving with him. to be elected to the united states senate and arrived and one of my first visits is to go to his office and for him to greet me as a colleague and treat me with the same respect that he treated everybody he met and to sit me down and give me advice of how the senate worked and regaled me with some stories about wartime and his recovery.
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stories full of humor, never bitterness. never boastfulness. just matter of fact. some of them, i must admit off-color, i probably couldn't repeat them in the cathedral. that's a side of danny that danny once told his son his service to the country had been for the children. for all of the sons and daughters who deserved to grow up in a nation that never questioned their patriotism. this is my country, he said. many of us have fought hard for the right to say that. and obviously rich shinseki
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described what it meant for japanese-american, but my point is when he referred to our sons and daughters he wasn't just talking about japanese-american s. he was talking about all of us. he was talking about those who serve today who might have been excluded in the past. he's talking about me. that's who danny was. for him, freedom and dignity were not abstractions. they were values that he had bled for. ideas he had sacrificed for. rights, he understood as only someone can who has had them threatened, had them taken away. the valor that earned him our
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nation's highest military decoration, a story so incredible that when you actually read the accounts you'd think this -- you couldn't make this up. it's like out of an action movie. that valor was so rooted in a deep and abiding love of this country and he believed as we say in hawaii that we're a single ohana, that we're one family and he devoted his life to making that family strong. and after experiencing the horror of war himself danny also felt a profound connection to those who followed. it wasn't unusual for him to take time out of his busy schedule to sit down with a veteran or fellow amputee, telling stories, telling jokes. two heroes generations apart sharing an unspoken bond that was forged in battle and
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tempered in peace. in no small measure because of danny's service our military is and will always remain the best in the world and we recognize our sacred obligation to give our veterans the care they deserve. of course, danny didn't always take credit for the difference he made, ever humble one of the only landmarks that bear his name is a marine corps mess hall in hawaii and when someone asked him how he wanted to be remembered danny said i represented the people of hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. i think i did okay. danny, you were more than okay. you were extraordinary. it's been mentioned that danny
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ended his convention speech in chicago in 1968 with the word aloha. to some of you who visit us, it may have meant hello and to others it may have meant good-bye. those of us who have been privileged to live in hawaii understand aloha means "i love you." and as someone who has been privileged to live in hawaii, i know that he embodied the very best of that spirit, the very best of aloha. it's fitting it was the last word that danny spoke on this earth. he may have been saying good-bye to us. maybe he was saying hello to someone waiting on the other side, but it was a final expression most of all of his love for the family and friends
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that he cared so much about, for the men and women he was honored to serve with, for the country that held such a special place in his heart and so we remember a man who inspired all of us with his courage and moved us with his compassion, that inspired us with his integrity and who taught so many of us including a young boy growing up in hawaii that america has a place for everyone. may god bless daniel inouye and may god grant us more souls like his. >> the president of the united states speaking beautifully about the late senator from hawaii daniel inouye who passed away this week at the age of 88,
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the longest-serving senator. the memorial service taking place in washington at the national cathedral and taking place in his home state of hawaii. we will take a quick break. remember, in 90 minutes we will be hearing once again from the president. he'll be back at the white house and he'll be announcing that john kerry, the senator of massachusetts will be his nomination to be the next secretary of state succeeding hillary clinton. we'll have much more news coming up right after this. eything. oh, it's the old man. hold on, i gotta send something out. you can have two apps open at the same time? how'd you do that? it's the galaxy note 10.1 man, it just does it. how do you think they made it? magic. do more with the samsung galaxy note 10.1.